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The WNBA’s Biggest Baddie Isn’t A Player — She’s A Twerking Elephant Mascot

A new star has emerged in women’s basketball — but, weirdly enough, she’s not an athlete. In fact, she’s not even a human: She’s the mascot of the WNBA’s New York Liberty team, Ellie the Elephant. 

Sports mascots have been an important part of athletics organizations for many years, and are a part of professional games that many fans look forward to. Catching a t-shirt from a mascot’s shirt cannon or taking a picture with them after the game are highlights of sports seasons. But Ellie the Elephant is bringing the mascot game to a whole other level.

Ellie became the New York Liberty’s mascot in 2021, but she isn’t your typical sports mascot. She’s fashionable, with bedazzled shoes, a Statue of Liberty crown, and a long braid of hair. On May 18, 2024, she debuted a Telfar x UGG suede bag when doing her tunnel walk. Besides being a fashionista, Ellie is a dancer, with her own signature moves like the “Ellie Stomp.” Ellie joins Torch Patrol, the New York Liberty’s dance team, to perform a routine where she stomps toward members and makes them appear to fly backwards as a result of her extreme strength. 

The “Ellie Stomp” isn’t all she can do, either: Videos of Ellie dancing have gotten hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok. In fact, you can find the star herself on the clock app: @bigellieliberty. You can also keep up with Ellie on Instagram, where she posts candid shots as well as professional action photos from her performances. With over 70,000 followers between TikTok and Instagram, and over one million TikTok likes, Ellie has cemented herself as a mascot unlike any other fans have seen before. 

Fans are loving the fresh perspective Ellie has brought to the WNBA mascot game. Samantha Allen wrote in an article for them, “As the WNBA pre-season begins, I’m not interested in whether Caitlin Clark will lead the Indiana Fever to the playoffs for the first time since 2016, or if the Las Vegas Aces are going to three-peat. I just want to see more videos of Ellie doing her thing all over my Instagram feed.” User @_kengrace shared a video of Ellie dancing on X with the caption, “She’s been THAT GIRL and she’s not about to change for you.” 

Fans are showing support for their favorite elephant on TikTok. On one of her latest posts, about “the mascot you think you’re getting” versus “the mascot you’re actually getting,” fans filled the comments with hype and support. ESPN-W posted a video celebrating Ellie on June 4, which got over 30,000 likes and over 500 comments. 

It’s safe to say that Ellie has cemented herself as an icon in the WNBA, and fans are excited to see what she does next as the season continues.

Jordyn Stapleton has been a National Lifestyle Writer for Her Campus since February 2023. She covers a variety of topics in her articles, but is most passionate about writing about mental health and social justice issues. Jordyn graduated from CU Boulder in December 2022 with Bachelor’s degrees in music and psychology with a minor in gender studies and a certificate in public health. Jordyn was involved in Her Campus during college, serving as an Editorial Assistant and later Editor-in-Chief for the CU Boulder chapter. She has also worked as a freelance stringer for the Associated Press. Jordyn is currently taking a gap year and working at a local business in Boulder, with hopes of attending graduate school in fall 2024. Jordyn enjoys reading, bullet journalling, and listening to (preferably Taylor Swift) music in her free time. If she isn’t brainstorming her next article, you can usually find her exploring coffee shops or hiking trails around Boulder with her friends.